Simi Valley Unified School District
|Simi Unified School District|
|Simi Valley, CA
Southern California-Ventura County
|Grades||K-12, Adult Education, preschool|
|Superintendent||Dr. Jason Peplinski|
|Budget||$142 million (restricted and unrestricted)|
|Students and staff|
(about 100 in management)
|Teachers' unions||Simi Educators Association, California Teachers Association|
Simi Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) is the second largest school district in Ventura County, California with about 18,000 students enrolled in the 2014-15 school year. Simi Valley's students come from the city of Simi Valley, the census-designated place of Santa Susana, and other adjacent unincorporated areas. The district operates 18 elementary schools, three middle schools, four high schools (including two comprehensive schools, one magnet school and one continuation school), one adult school, and one independent study school.
The Simi Valley Unified School District's Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Jason Peplinski as the new district superintendent on Dec. 9, 2014. He is active on social media and has made goals including keeping more students in the district and increasing communications.
Simi Elementary School Accountability Report Card
The latest published School Accountability Report Card (SARC) for Simi Elementary School can be accessed from SVUSD's website.
The SARC report gave Simi Elementary its highest rating in all areas including the maintenance of buildings. The report also said there was no deferred maintenance funding for the 2012-2013 school year.'
Random Drug Testing
The board voted in 2014 to offer random drug testing of high school students whose parents or legal guardians voluntarily sign them up. In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of mandatory drug testing by public schools of students participating in extracurricular activities.
Declining enrollment: School closures
Beginning in 1995, the district flirted with closing schools due to what was then early on-set declining enrollment. Simi Elementary School, in the 1990s, was already considered first for school closure due to high maintenance costs and its small size. Other schools considered at the time were Sycamore, Mountain View, and Justin Elementary schools - all due to declining enrollment. Ultimately, the district voted to not close any school due to backlash from the community, as they had previously closed four schools prior in the 1980s.
Since the 2003-2004 school year, the school district has experienced a decline in enrollment (along with the rest of the state of California). Enrollment peaked at nearly 22,000 in 2003 and was down to about 18,000 in 2013. After reviewing the enrollment figures, a committee consisting of administrators, teachers, parents and community members recommended closing three schools. After hearing public testimony, the committee came to the decision January 14, 2014 to not close any schools and disbanded.
On January 31, 2014, Simi Elementary School was notified of possible relocation of the school due to the overall condition and safety of the campus. Simi Elementary was built in 1926 as the first school in the city. Ventura County has named it a Historical Landmark.[note 1] The issues at hand regarding the facility and infrastructure are:
- Broken water mains
- Possible broken sewer line under a classroom which has caused the floor to sink
- Gas lines underground which are old and brittle causing periodic gas leaks
- Deteriorating roofs
- A septic tank which is in danger of collapsing
- Potential asbestos
- Potential rust in water lines
- Potential mold
- Potential lead
The Inspection was contracted through LI & Associates, Inc. who has been monitoring the infrastructure and safety of the school since November 12, 2012. In the latest report dated January 7, 2014, the company, regarding the administrative building, stated, "During process of our seismic retrofit design on this building, we learnt that this building does not have a valid DSA permit.[note 2] Therefore, this building cannot be used by student per California State regulations."
Due to the cost of needed repairs to the Simi Elementary campus, SVUSD decided to close Simi Elementary. On February 4, 2014, the board voted 4-1 to relocate Simi Elementary to Mountain View Elementary as of February 18, 2014. The school continued to function as a separate school until the end of the 2013-2014 school year.
In the fall of the 2014-2015 school year, SVUSD made a recommendation to close Abraham Lincoln and Justin Elementary school due to a decline in enrollment and approved the closure in January 2015. Monte Vista School is using the Lincoln campus and Early Learner's Academy is using the Justin campus.
- Abraham Lincoln Elementary (closed) (1959-2015)
- Arroyo Elementary
- Atherwood Elementary
- Berylwood Elementary
- Crestview Elementary
- Big Springs Elementary
- Garden Grove Elementary School
- Hollow Hills Fundamental School
- Justin Elementary School (closed)
- Katherine Elementary School
- Knolls Elementary School
- Madera Elementary School
- Mountain View Elementary School
- Parkview Center School
- Santa Susana Elementary
- Simi Elementary School (closed) (1927 - 2015)
- Sycamore Elementary School
- Township Elementary School
- Vista Fundamental School
- White Oak Elementary School
- Wood Ranch Elementary
- Hillside Middle School
- Sinaloa Middle School
- Valley View Middle School
- Monte Vista School
- Simi Elementary School & Bungalows was designed by architect Arthur G. Lindley and was designated County Landmark # 139 in August 1990. The school was built in 1926 by Lutz Construction Company as a part of Community Center and has been in continuous use. The bungalows were built from lumber from the original Simi School (1890).
- Application # 114530 for alterations to the administrative building was approved by the Division of the State Architect (DSA) on February 12, 2013.
- Moore, Jean Cowden "At Simi Valley meeting, speakers fight to keep schools open" Ventura County Star 10 December 2013[dead link]
- LePAGE, ANDREW "Another Area Schools Chief to Quit Post : Education: Simi Valley's Robert W. Purvis joins four others who plan to leave." Los Angeles Times 26 January 1993
- Official Website of Simi Valley Unified School District
- "Simi Elementary School Accountability Report Card" Simi Valley Unified School District 2012-13 school activity published in January 2014
- McGrath, Rachel (March 14, 2014). "Drug testing program starts in Simi Valley high schools". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- Wilson, Tracy (February 15, 1995). "Proposal to Shut 1 Simi Elementary School Advances : Education: Board votes to pursue closing one of three possible campuses to reduce costs despite loud protests.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- Cultural Heritage Board. "Ventura County Landmark Map" County of Ventura Planning Division Accessed 5 February 2014
- LI & Associates, Inc. Structural and Consulting Engineers Official Website
- "Application # 114530 Summary" State of California, Department of General Services, Division of the State Architect. Accessed February 5, 2014
- Himes, Thomas (June 25, 2014). "Simi Valley's oldest school to close". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
- Moore, Jean Cowden (February 4, 2014). "Board decides to close Simi Elementary, at least for rest of school year". Ventura County Star. Archived from the original on June 4, 2014.
- Moore, Jean Cowden (January 15, 2015). "Simi Valley school board votes to close Justin and Lincoln elementary schools". Ventura County Star. Retrieved 16 August 2016.